Tooling Around

Three peers on getting started, strong foundations, and “mobile-izing” the future

By Blair Campbell

January/February 2015


Bobby Curtis

How did you get started in IT? I got started as a network/systems administrator for the US Army. After getting out of the army, I worked for a government contractor, and they gave me the option of picking the database for my first project. I convinced management to go with Oracle9i Database, and later with Oracle RAC 10g [Oracle Real Application Clusters 10g].

Peer Specs

Company: Accenture Enkitec Group, a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company

Job title/description: Senior technical consultant, providing consulting and implementation services to organizations using Oracle technologies
Location: Douglasville, Georgia
Length of time using Oracle products: 18 years
Oracle ACE Oracle ACE

What are your favorite tools on the job? Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c and Oracle GoldenGate. Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c changed the game of monitoring within the enterprise, and I’ve found that once clients start to use it, it quickly becomes the main monitoring tool for their enterprise. With Oracle GoldenGate, having the ability to migrate and replicate data from many different platforms makes consolidating data simpler, with minimal overhead.

What led you to take Oracle University (OU) classes? I took OU classes when I was first getting into the Oracle space. Initially I took them in person, but as my career progressed, my availability dwindled—so I switched to online and self-paced classes.


Christian Antognini

What advice do you have about how to get into database development? Start from the foundations! Strong computer science fundamentals, as well as problem-solving skills, are of paramount importance. When those are acquired, learning to use a new tool or apply a new technique is just a matter of investing the time to discover how to take advantage of them.

Peer Specs

Company: Trivadis AG, a provider of system integration, solution engineering, and IT services

Job title: Senior principal consultant and partner, helping Trivadis’ customers get the most out of Oracle Database
Location: Monte Carasso, Switzerland
Length of time using Oracle products: 20 years
Oracle ACE Director Oracle ACE Director

Which new capabilities in Oracle Database are you finding most valuable? In the performance and scalability area that interests me most, it’s adaptive execution plans and the new types of histograms: top-frequency and hybrid histograms. Both solve a number of common application problems.

What’s your go-to Oracle reference book? It’s my own book, Troubleshooting Oracle Performance [Apress, 2008/2014]. That may sound weird, but since I documented so many details that I keep forgetting, a day doesn’t go by when I don’t have to consult it.

How are you using social media? I do not use social media to a great extent. That said, I find Twitter valuable because it’s really easy to interact with people in real time.


Karen Cannell

Name one unique use of an Oracle application at your company. We use Oracle Application Express charts to replicate an internal “house of quality” charting system—which is used to enhance quality through planning and communication. We’ve made it interactive with the underlying data and automated it with a slide show with stop/resume/replay. All with Oracle Application Express and a bit of jQuery.

Peer Specs

Company: TH Technology, a technology consulting firm serving government agencies and medical and engineering firms

Job title/description: President, handling end-to-end project assessment, design, development, deployment, training, and support
Location: Rockport, Massachusetts
Length of time using Oracle products: 30 years
Oracle ACE Associate Oracle ACE Associate

How are you using mobile computing in your work these days? With every app I build, I keep an eye out for pages that can be mobile-ized. QA apps that go through cycles of approval are a good example, since those approvals can all be done via mobile devices. The important thing is to build those pages so they can be viewed and used on any device. The mobile features in the latest Oracle Application Express versions make that easy.

What would you like to see Oracle, as a company, do more of? Hold more Oracle Technology Network Developer Days on the latest technologies, and support user groups with guest speakers after hours, when more people can attend. I find these avenues for learning very helpful.